Romney gaffes lead to obvious Obama question


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If there were ever a gift to Saturday Night Live, it would be the 2012 election season.

On the episode featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the Weekend Update segment “What Are You Doing?” took aim at Obama as he brought attention to himself from Romney’s tailspin.

In one week, Romney managed to insult nearly half the country, then stand by those words, is suspected of using self-tanner during an interview with Univision, and finally his V.P. pick Paul Ryan is booed at the AARP.

To clarify, when speaking at a campaign fundraiser Mitt Romney said, “there are 47 percent who are with him [President Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it…and they will vote for this president no matter what…these are people who pay no income tax…and so my job is to not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

So again is the same question from Seth Myers: what are you doing?

When fact-checked at FactCheck and Politifact, the 47 percent number is indeed accurate. Yet, in some cases Romney was wrong. He led the fundraisers to believe these people will automatically vote Democrat, and this is false. That 47 percent number can be broken into two sub-groups; half of the people who do not pay taxes are simply too poor to have tax requirements and the other half are senior citizens and others who are receiving tax breaks. Romney leads Obama in the polls with Americans over 65 and Obama has the foothold in the lowest income brackets.

These last weeks leading up to the election are prime time to see what our candidates will be when in office. Romney’s gaffes are piling high as a candidate, both from the campaign trail and his trip overseas. During the overseas trip, he criticized security during the Olympics, leading to a verbal smack down later from the London mayor, potentially damaged already strenuous relations between America and Palestine by implying that Palestine’s poor economic conditions are a result of cultural influence and then broke with policy upheld in the U.S. for more than 60 years by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In an interview with ABC News after the tour, Romney said he would not go back and fix some of his rhetoric saying that he “tend[s] to tell people what I believe.”

The greatest gift to comedians, and the Obama election itself, is Mitt Romney. Sit back and let him win the election for you Mr. President.

Because if, as a candidate, Romney piles these verbal gaffes sky high, what’s to stop him from doing it as president and potentially damaging ties with our allies?

There is a finesse to be had in the art of speech, and in these tumultuous times, one must be a master at finesse and Romney may not quite be at that level.

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged : joseph Gordon levitt, Barack Obama, Gaffes, Mitt Romney, Saturday Night Live

A training ground for democracy

Dennis Gosnell

Assistant Editor

A training ground for democracy

Picture caption: Being involved in student government is one way to get your voice heard and be active in decision-making.

Community involvement is a vital and crucial part of the democratic system. Without it people would be under-represented in congressional halls. Yet, people rarely take the time to get involved and speak up for their communities when given the chance.

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From the editor: 9/11, Eleven Years Later

Chelsea Ratterman

Editor in Chief

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the attacks that shocked our nation. Today, ceremonies are being held at the three sites most affected, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., to honor those who died that day.

Each year, a flag is hung over the now rebuilt part of the Pentagon that was destroyed in the September 11th attacks.

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By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged 102 minutes that changed america, 9-11, attacks, died, flag, flight 93, memorial, pentagon, terrorist, world trade center

Pro Choice by principle

Chelsea Ratterman

Editor in Chief

Pro Choice by principle

The GOP has attempted to draw in women voters, to close the gender gap that pushed President Obama to the 2008 win, but their recently reaffirmed views on women might make that gap grow even more.

The platform the GOP approved calls for a constitutional amendment called the “Human Life Amendment” that gives legal status to the unborn, with no-exception for rape in the abortion stance and a measure that opposed FDA approval of drugs like RU-486, which has been used in medical abortions.

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Economic woes “double” for college students

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

With the U.S. government trying to figure out how to overcome 12 years of over spending, it seems that it will be the youth of America and their parents that will pay the price for seeking justice and the war against terror.

American youth to pay for parent’s mistakes
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By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged Budget Control Act of 2011, Stafford Student Loans, U.S. economy, U.S. goods, U.S. Government

Personhood Bills take forefront in debates

Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

Social issues have always been a political ploy used by candidates running for office to avoid the real issues, but this year’s use of women’s rights has been, if anything, frightening. During the past year, bills have been introduced into state and national legislation that focus on birth control, abortion, and other means of women’s health care. While these topics are always controversial due to the opposition they face, it seems as if they have been far more in the forefront than usual. The organizations that provide controversial services to women are the focal point of many bills related to “personhood” bills that have been pushed for throughout the country.

Planned Parenthood breakdown of services: STI/STD testing- 38% Contraception- 33.5% Cancer Screening and Prevention- 14.5% Other Women’s Health Services (Prenatal Testing, Pregnancy tests)- 10.4% Abortion Services- 3%(does not use federal funding) Other Services (Family Planning, Adoption, Nutrition) – 0.6%

Planned Parenthood has faced funding losses for many years. Many candidates running for the Oval Office use this as a base, promising to defund it in order to sway the pro-life voters. This decision causes fear for an organization that provides far more than abortions to the public. They provide an annual breakdown of their services at the end of the following year, and in the 2010 annual report it showed that 3 percent of the services rendered were abortions (which cannot use federal funding), while 38 percent of their services supported STD testing on both women and men. The organization also provides birth control and vital cancer screenings. It provides so many beneficial things to the public, but has been a target since the 1970s for defunding.

Personhood bills are one of the largest threats to the female gender in years. It would ban some types of birth control, completely outlaw abortion, and would place doctors and lab technicians who provide in vitro fertilizations in vulnerable positions, should the embryo not survive.

According to Jewish law, one should respect the potential personhood of an unborn fetus, but it does not become a person until the head has emerged. Yet, modern Christianity defines it as the moment of conception. Where is it anyone’s place to define when life begins, except God, the being that so many refer to in defense of their radical actions? These bills and actions that affect women, their health, and their bodies should not be the focus of political action; instead we should be focusing on the true problems at hand, such as the economy and job market.

Post 9/11 GI Bill poses challenges for vets

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Bureaucracy is often as annoying as finger nails scraping against a chalkboard.

Ideally the bureaucratic system is designed to prevent malicious laws from being created in a fastidious manner that would inhibit and limit an individual’s civil rights.

More often than not however, the bureaucratic system is used to prevent or circumvent a person’s interest in areas that are sensitive or to maintain a slow and fluid system of governing.

Veterans Affairs (VA) is one such bureaucratic system that works toward helping citizens, who were part of the Armed Forces of the United States, transition out of the military.
The VA offers many different programs to veterans, one is the GI Bill for veterans who wish to go to college or receive some form of technical training.

The most notorious of these bills, is the Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill. For most administrators this bill causes a miasma of grandiose headaches that leave them wondering at the reasoning behind such a complicated bill.

Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Hallberg’s military career ended when a roadside bomb exploded next to his HMMWV (Humvee) in Iraq. Now he battles the bureaucracy of the Pentagon to get the benefits he deserves.
Photo courtesy of

The eligibility criteria for the bill, what they get while using the bill, and figuring out what the veteran owes if they should fail a course or courses creates a great deal of paperwork for an understaffed and underequipped bureaucracy.

Whose fault then is it when these governmental agencies are slow to respond to the people’s needs? The people would say it is the government’s fault, while others will blame their fellow citizens for being lazy and not wanting to work.

The fault lies in poor long-term planning.

Morris, a Russian man saves his rubles for twenty years to buy a new car. After choosing the model and options he wants, he’s not the least bit surprised or even concerned to learn that it will take two years for the new car to be delivered. He thanks the salesman and starts to leave, but as he reaches the door he pauses and turns back to the salesman “Do you know which week two years from now the new car will arrive?” he asks.
The salesman checks his notes and tells Morris that it will be two years to the exact week. The man thanks the salesman and starts out again, but upon reaching the door, he turns back again.
“Could you possibly tell me what day of the week two years from now the car will arrive?”
The salesman, mildly annoyed, checks his notes again and says that it will be exactly two years from this week, on Thursday.
Morris thanks the salesman and once again starts to leave. Halfway though the door, he hesitates, turns back, and walks up to the salesman.
“I’m sorry to be so much trouble, but do you know if that will be two years from now on Thursday in the morning, or in the afternoon?”
Visibly irritated, the salesman flips through his papers yet another time and says sharply that it will be in the afternoon, two years from now on Thursday.
“That’s a relief!” says Morris. “The plumber is coming that morning.”

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged Bureaucracy, Chapter 33, HMMWV, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Staff Sergeant Ryan Hallberg, VA

Manners matter even for the governor

By:Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

Recently, President Barack Obama visited Oklahoma, and to the dismay of many of the state’s population, Oklahoma’s most important elected official, Gov. Mary Fallin, was not there to meet him. Her past remarks have shown certain displeasure with our president. Many believe that this may have been a deliberate snub to our nation’s MVP. If this is true, this shows an extreme lack of respect for an office that should demand the most respect of any.

In a time when many are disillusioned with the government and its leaders, there are still the few who get excited at the simple prospect of a sitting president being in eyeshot, and that is how it should be. They still recognize the prestige and respect the office demands as being the one representative of the American people.

Respect has been lost in the last few decades for the Executive Office of the President. Political views, affiliations, or religious choice should be set aside, especially in matters of state and the duties required. On the campaign trail, candidates running for office are spouting venom at the president for his choices, lack of progress, and just overall demeanor while in office. In each of Gov. Fallin’s press releases or speeches concerning the president she has been nothing but vile in tone.

“I hope that while President Obama is in Oklahoma he takes some time to listen to our citizens, many of whom work for the energy industry which he claims to support,” Gov. Fallin said, in a press release following the announcement of President Obama’s visit. She goes on to accuse him and his party of a supporting an “aggressively anti-energy agenda,” despite the Obama administration’s push for cleaner energy that would decrease our dependence on oil itself.

These practices are unacceptable. There are respectful ways of expressing displeasure in the choices of those who direct our country, and the members of Congress and governors do not seem to grasp this. Sarcasm, accusation and hostility in press release and speech form do nothing but rile the opposition to a similar reaction, which leads to the round robin the U.S. has been experiencing for years now. We need to return to a time where the Executive Office of the President, and other elected officials, still commanded their due respect. Twenty years ago elected officials would not have had the gall to speak in the tones they do now. It is not a matter of freedom of speech, but a matter of manners.

21st Century Activism needs basis in fact not fiction

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Activism has always been an important part of American culture. Whether it was the forefathers standing up to Great Britain, African Americans standing up in protest of segregation and prejudice, or even now the 99 percent standing up to the one percent of Wall Street.

In this way, activism holds a special place in the hearts of Americans, as it gives them the opportunity to show their frustration over the direction their lives have been pushed.

However, how does one determine if a cause is just or an ill-considered manipulation? Many have the right to be angry at the way Wall Street has abused their financial power, yet standing up to the problem Wall Street represents causes an even more substantial problem.

What happens if the 99 percent wins the battle and financial reform takes place? People who rely on Wall Street and financial institutions for everything from housing to retirement funds to savings accounts would be affected.

Just thinking about the amount of hard-working individuals who would lose their jobs is staggering. Action without thought is careless. Does something need to be fixed? Yes, but does it need to be fixed blindly? Probably not.

Occupy Wall Street seems to have been a fad, signs of dissent have all but faded from the public eye as interest and exposure have dwindled to tiny droplets falling from a shutoff valve.

The public has moved on to a new target and a new problem that began decades ago in Uganda. The name of the movement makes it seem like people want a rival of a hotdog or the Coney Island boardwalk.

Kony 2012 is a movement started March 8, to stop the forced military servitude of children in the Lord’s Resistance Army that is based primarily out of Uganda.

Should this newest activism issue be dealt with? Yes, but the question underlining all of these actions are why now and not before? These two issues have been around for many decades and now people seem to be dancing like puppets.

The answer of course is the outbreak of social media and the greater ability for people to propagandize issues, giving more hands the ability to stir the social beehive into irrational directions.

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged Dissent, Kony, Occupy, Propaganda, , Wall Street

Justice is truly deaf, dumb, and blind

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

<empty>It has been said that in order for justice to be fair she must be blind. This has never been truer.

Consider for a moment that a young woman is murdered and potentially raped by a young man who tries to cover it up with his friend’s help. This young man is then convicted of her murder but not rape. He is sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Consider also that a man goes and pirates movies, music, TV shows and other pieces of entertainment. He makes millions of dollars from his piracy by sharing his collection with others throughout the world. This man is sentenced to 50 years in prison for his crime.

Who would imagine that acts of piracy would outweigh an act of murder? For 17-year-old Marta de Castillo, who was murdered in 2009, the sad reality is that her self-confessed killer, now 21-year-old Miguel Carcano, will spend a mere 20 years in prison for her murder.

While this is not a U.S. case, it is still a devastating truth when one considers that German native Kim Schmitz, who legally changed his name to Kim Dotcom in 2005, will receive 50 years after having been tried and found guilty of digital piracy against U.S. corporations.

Justice is truly blind if such crimes are weighed based on monetary gains and losses. As individuals we each have an identity that, while similar to others, is unique to ourselves.

Being sent to prison is supposed to illicit a sense of fear of retribution for crimes against fellow beings, yet the stealing of a life is taken for granted when compared to the theft of material monetary gains and losses that have a split second shelf life.

Money passes between people’s hands so quickly and frequently that a dollar given in one state today can pass through someone else’s hands in another state tomorrow.

Every day acts of violence occur; every day someone is stealing something from someone else. If these scales remain unbalanced with the theft of monetary possessions or ideas outweighing the theft of a life, where will humanity be left in the future?

A world where people turn their backs on their fellow humans is an act of grave injustice that dooms the future of humanity.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged Kim Dotcom, Kim Schmitz, Mahatma Gandhi, Marta de Castillo, Miguel Carcano, Murder, Rape, Sentencing